North Tipperary County Council’s budget for 2014 has a lot to commend in it, given the economic situation and especially as the council has fewer staff, according to Cllr Denis Ryan.
The Fine Gael councillor proposed that the council adopt the budget, which saw a reduction in the commercial rate to 56.77, the same as in South Tipperary, and an overall spend of E61,365,968.
The proposal was seconded by Cllr Michael Smith.
Cllr Ryan said the reduction in rates would help businesses and also pointed out that there were increases in funding for burial ground committees and other voluntary groups, which he described as the “best spent money”.
The Roscrea councillor also highlighted the council’s energy efficiency achievements, which, he said, were good for the environment and something they should be proud of.
North Tipperary County Council is the country’s top local authority for energy savings and is on schedule to reach its 33 per cent target seven years ahead of the scheduled date of 2020.
In financial terms, this means savings of over E370,000.
The budget allows for an extra £10,000 for burial grounds grants, bringing the allocation to E80,000; E13,000 towards the Roscrea Enhancement Scheme, including the further rollout of the streetscape painting scheme; E15,000 grant towards the Brian Boru Festival; co-funding of E20,000 towards the Lough Derg Signage Scheme.
Cllr Virginia O’Dowd said it was great to see the council’s continued commitment to the arts, sports and local organisations, while Cllr John Kennedy said the budget was a platform to base themselves on and to secure funding ahead of amalgamation next year with South Tipp.
Some of the main features of the budget are:
Housing and building: E886,595 for maintenance of local authority housing; E622,425 for housing grants / disabled persons grants; E2,757,150 for Rental Accommodation Scheme.
Roads: E1,887,852 towards “own resources” roads funding; E1.3m from development levies.
Water services: E5,316,219 for operation of water supply schemes; E4,020,188 for operation of waste water schemes.
Development management: E18,000 for preparation of statutory plans and policies; E150,000 for planning enforcement costs; E126,296 allocated to tourism, sports tourism and the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy and Brian Boru Festival; E124,714 to continue financial support for community initiatives and support.
Environmental services: E169,344 for operation of recycling centres and bottle banks; E269,615 towards litter control initiatives; E232,342 for street cleaning; E208,356 for burial grants to local cemetery committees; E2,518,751 for the fire service; E135,000 for operation of swimming pools in Nenagh, Thurles and Roscrea; E992,445 for Tipperary Library Services.